health

April 27, 2022

LINEO MABEKEBEKE

3 min read

Cervical cancer vaccine kicks off

Cervical cancer vaccine kicks off

Her Majesty Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso

Story highlights

  • 90% of women identified with cancer must receive treatment
  • HPV vaccines now available worldwide

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IT is imperative for girls to access Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) because it is effective in the prevention of cervical cancer, says Her Majesty Queen ’Masenate Mohato Seeiso.

She made these remarks during the launch of the HPV Campaign that was held in Butha-Buthe on Monday.

Her Majesty said everybody must contribute to the HPV Campaign for girls below 15 years and mobilise as much as possible for the minors still under the care of parents and guardians.

She said as a country with the support of partners, everyone would be able to sustain the initiative and leave no legible girl behind.

“The nation is double burdened by both communicable and non-communicable diseases, and I encourage all to deploy best practices in the campaign so that all the villages are reached, using the already existing structures,” she said.                                                                                                                   “We need to live to our commitments as a country and be committed to ensuring that 90 percent of girls are fully vaccinated against HPV by the age of 15 years.”

Despite the unavailability of a national cancer treatment hospital in the country, The Queen said 90 percent of women identified with cancer must receive treatment.

She said there were approaches and services such as screening and treatment, which could be used in health facilities to mitigate the cancer.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Lesotho, Dr Richard Banda said introducing safe and effective HPV vaccine could prevent cervical cancer caused by the HPV.

“HPV vaccines are now available in many countries throughout the world and are highly efficacious in preventing precancerous cervical lesions caused by these virus types,” said Dr Banda.

“This launch is an important step and a milestone in the history of Lesotho to join the fight along with other countries of the region and the world to prevent mortality and morbidity due to cervical cancer.

“The HPV programme will also allow Lesotho to explore synergies for promoting and strengthening health interventions for adolescents.”

He said the HPV vaccination needed the involvement of other stakeholders especially community leaders. “More effort and collaboration are needed especially in the area of communication and social mobilisation for a successful HPV vaccine demonstration programme,” Dr Banda said.

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“I would like to emphasise that to achieve full benefits of HPV vaccine, it must be given to all target children regardless where they live or how hard it is to reach them.”

For his part, the Minister of Health, Semano Sekatle appealed to parents to allow their children to get vaccinated in order to prevent cancer, HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) amongst others.

Basotho, he said should rise up as one nation to fight the silent killer, adding that prevention for cervical cancer was effective.

He said the health workers should ensure that they reach every girl to eliminate cancer while they work on the campaign.

WHO, a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) responsible for international public health describes cervical cancer as the fourth most common cancer among women worldwide.

Around 85 percent of the global burden of cervical cancer occurs in the developing countries, including Lesotho.

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